Friday, April 15, 2005

Didn't expect this...

...Ben Sheets just signed an extension with the Brewers. Four years, $38.5M. So much for him being a Yankee/Red Sock/A by the end of the season. As sad as it is that he'll be a Brewer for another few years, I just gained new respect for him...if he became a FA this fall he'd easily get $11M/year with the Yanks or Mets or Sox.

On the topic of's feast or famine for former short-term Red Sox pitchers...Nomo got rocked, but Astacio, Chen, Suppan are smokin'. WTF?


  1. They had been talking about this all winter. I was actually a little surprised it was 4 years. I was thinking it would be two years - just to give him security AND allow him to get the big $$ in FA after 2006.

    And actually I think it is really a three year extension - it replaces his contract he signed this year. So he was due to make $6 this year - the contract really adds years 2-4 for a total of $32.5 or just about the aforementioned $11MM/year.

    I guess the terms make sense. Slightly less than Johan. But Sheets is no Johan - he's more inconsistent.

    So maybe we should hold off on the new found respect for the guy - he got about market rate. And sure he is not committed to Milwaukee for probably two, maybe three more years. But I still anticipate that he and Johan will be trade bait for the Sox Yankees - just not until sometime in 2006 or 2007.

  2. Okay, $11M/year is about market -- I missed that. But his current year ($6M) is way, way below market. Compare him to this year's FA class: he's getting significantly less than Benson, Lowe, Lieber, Milton, Clement, Wright...even Benitez!

    Speaking of Looks to be an amazing year for him. Of course, next year he'll suck. What's weird is that ever since leaving Boston, he's been saying all the right things, to both LA and Boston media...

  3. Its apples and oranges to compare sheets $6 Million this year to the largesses (not sure if that is a word) of Lowe, Clement et al.

    Those guys were Free Agents and Sheets was not. In fact, I believe that Sheets would not have been eligible for FA until after 2006. That means he was a 4 year arbitration eligible player - and that makes sense for $6MM. And he would have only been eligible for arbitration next year, maybe netting $9 MM. So they really bought out only two FA years for about $22-24MM.

    Lowe sure pitched well last night. There were a number of strong performances last night. And really none by the players we would expect them from. That's the beauty about baseball...

    And of course, just as you had predicted, the Sheff story is being so overblown. I think its funny that the, for the most part, Boston media is piling on the fan and the NY media (with the exception of historical Yankee apologist George King) are dumping all over Sheffield. Typical NE media.

  4. Okay, I obviously didn't know what I was talking about. I thought that even before the $6M he was elgigible for FA after 2005. So yeah, that all makes sense.

    In any case, nice so see the post-Selig Brewers actually spending money for a change.

  5. Interesting moves by the Brew-crew. Let's see what else they can do to get them moving in the right direction.

    As for Lowe, how much of a factor do you think pitching in Dodger Stadium has been. Granted he's a ground-ball pitcher, but the park affect ought to be helping, correct? That and the fact that 1/9 batters he faces is a pitcher. Plus, Earl you're right. He'll do a knock up job this year and suck next year.

    Finally, as for the whole Shef/fan incident, I hope they don't punish Shef. He didn't do anything.

  6. On top of Dodger Stadium and the lack of a DH...much less media pressure in LA; weak-hitting NLWest, esp. with Bonds out; and of course Derek pitches well when he has something to prove.

    I don't want to get into it too much, but giving Sheff a short (1-2 games) suspension and/or a fine is okay by me. He -- like the fan -- crossed a line (he swung at the guy), and so should face consequences.

  7. I think about all of those things have contributed to Lowe pitching well. In fact last night's game gave him even more incentive to pitch well since the LA media were all over him about wearing a Sox jersey on Monday. Of course that may seem like a contradiction of the other comments that there is less media pressure, but I would be Lowe would much rather some flak about a Jersey that actually being questioned about his ability to pitch and his mental toughness.

    Some stats:

    D Lowe's three starts have been one each in Pac Bell, the BOB and Chavez Ravine.

    Pac Bell is actually a hitter friendly park for runs, but hard to hit HRs in. W/ Lowe being a groundball pitcher, makes sense he would have success their. Result 7 GB, 7 Fly balls, 7 Ks, 1 HR.

    AZ is a hitter friendly park with LOTS of HRs. So I will call it neutral for him. 8 GB. 2 Fly balls. 3Ks. 1 HR. He left in the fifth from the line drive.

    And Dodger stadium is very difficult to score runs in, but is surprisingly average in HR allowed. So Lowe has an advantage their even with the Dodgers shoddy fielding. 17 GB (Wow). 5 fly balls. 3 Ks.

  8. Oh and one other thing on Sheets. I seemed to recall hearing that he was a free agent after 2005, but I went back and checked and he did make his debut in 2001 so by my calculation he would not be a free agent until after 2006.

    It may even be a better deal (for him) than Santana's. I'm not sure about Johan - he made his debut in 2000 so he MAY have been eligible for FA after this year, but I believe he spent some time in the minors in 2000 and 2001 so he may not have the full years of service time.